Is It Time to Take Your Brand More Seriously?
by Aden Andrus • July 14, 2020
In ecommerce, it’s easy to get fixated on direct sales. Early on, your customers have never heard of your business (or possibly even your product), so all you can do is run ads and hope that people click, get excited and make a purchase.
To make the most of your marketing, you have to optimize everything with that simple sales funnel in mind. It’s all you’ve got, after all.
Because that mindset is so vital to their early success, many businesses get stuck there. Long after their business begins to thrive and build a name for itself, they continue to focus all of their marketing efforts on driving direct sales.
It makes sense, but it’s a mindset that can actually limit your long-term success.
For most businesses, direct sales is actually one of the least profitable ways to drive revenue. Because it’s the lifeblood of so many businesses, it tends to be extremely competitive and it does little to bring customers in through other, cheaper channels.
A good organic brand presence, on the other hand, allows you to get sales in other, more affordable ways. If paid ads are the only thing you’re relying on, you won’t be able to scale and grow because you’re paying for every click at each step of your funnel.
So, at a certain point, you can’t just drive direct sales with your marketing—you have to start doing something with your brand.
Capitalizing on Brand Recognition
For example, one of our clients had been working with agencies for years. They were fairly well-established in the nutritional supplements industry, but they were looking for ways to increase sales from their online store.
After looking at their accounts, it was clear that their ads were doing about as well as could be expected…from a direct-sales perspective. However, they had done little to capitalize on their brand.
It was time to change that.
While we certainly kept managing and optimizing their existing campaigns, we also began aggressively bidding on their branded search terms. We also created a variety of display ads for segmented website targeting.
Within a few months, their online store was driving 5x as many sales. Their acquisition cost dropped by more than 75% and their entire operation became far more profitable.
Yes, we did eliminate some wasted ad spend and make other improvements to their campaigns, but this spike in sales was largely due to the effects of our branding efforts. The potential was already there, we just had to unlock it.
Making the Most of Your Brand
Of course, the better your brand is, the more important it will be to defend it. If people are searching for your brand, your competitors may start bidding on your branded terms, so it’s a good idea to protect your brand by bidding on your own terms.
It might seem counterintuitive to pay for clicks on the branded search terms you’ve worked so hard to cultivate, but branded clicks are usually very cheap and bidding on your brand gives you a ton of options you can use to make the most out of your brand name.
In some cases, you can use branded ads to measure the effectiveness of other branding efforts. If branded searches go up after you launch that new video ad, you know it’s helping to build brand awareness.
Alternatively, you might want to show different search results based on whether someone is an existing customer or a prospective customer. If you use a smart “remarketing lists for search ads” strategy, you can ensure that the right people are seeing the right message when they search for your brand online.
Finally, even if the competition isn’t actively bidding on your brand, bidding on your own brand can still increase the number of clicks you get for your own search terms. That’s why we almost always recommend investing in your brand—coupled with bidding on your branded search terms.
Your brand is one of your biggest marketing assets. Even if you’re not trying to be the next Nike, a little brand awareness can go a long ways towards making your PPC advertising more profitable.
Building a solid brand name also unlocks a variety of new, clever PPC options that can help you make the most of every aspect of your online marketing.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to improve your ecommerce campaigns.
For eight other proven tactics we love to use with our clients, check out this eBook. Or, simply let us know you’d like some help here or in the comments and we’d be glad to show you all the hidden potential in your campaigns.